Electrotherapy & Ultrasound
Electrotherapy is used by Sports Therapists to treat a variety of conditions to either enhance the tissue repair process or help to control pain levels and inflammation.
Ultrasound therapy can be used on chronic and acute conditions and is proposed to reduce the healing time frame of certain soft tissue injuries. It is commonly used for haematomas, the rehabilitation of muscle, tendon and ligament injuries. Ultrasound works by using high frequency sound waves focussed around the site of an injury by gently moving an ultrasonic head over the affected area.
Therapeutic ultrasound may stimulate the production of more collagen. Collagen is the main protein component in soft tissue such as tendons and ligaments. Ultrasound may accelerate the proliferative phase of tissue healing. It is also thought to improve the extensibility of mature collagen. In turn this has a positive effect on fibrous scar tissue which forms after an injury.
Ultrasound is thought to accelerate the normal resolution time of the inflammatory process by attracting more mast cells to the site of injury. This may cause an increase in blood flow which in turn will increase recovery rate.
As the ultrasound waves pass from the ultrasonic head into the skin they cause vibrations to occur. As a result this leads to heat in the surrounding tissues, particularly those that contain collagen. This increase in temperature may cause an increase in the extensibility of structures such as tendons, ligaments and scar tissue. Ultrasound may also reduce pain, promote the healing process and reduce muscle spasms.